Arrests in George taxi murder show impact of safety collaboration | Western Cape Government


Arrests in George taxi murder show impact of safety collaboration

10 March 2023

Joint statement: Arrests in George taxi murder show impact of safety collaboration

 Yesterday, it was confirmed by the South African Police Service (SAPS) that two arrests were made in relation to the murder of Mr Welele Mbudede in George last week. These results show what can be achieved when we work together to create safety and dignity for communities.

Mr Mbudede was a leader in the minibus taxi industry, as well as a partner in the George Integrated Public Transport Network (GO GEORGE). He was shot and killed outside his home in Thembalethu.

Western Cape Minister of Mobility Ricardo Mackenzie said, “I welcome these arrests and commend the team of detectives and SAPS leadership who have worked on the case, which we hope will be processed speedily through the courts. I trust this will give some comfort to the family of Mr Mbudede and the local community."

Minister Mackenzie continued, "The roll out of the GO GEORGE bus service in Thembalethu is a key priority, and we need to ensure the safety of all involved. Criminal elements cannot be allowed to hold back service delivery for residents. A successful trial run of the bus routes has been conducted this week in preparation for the launch of the Thembalethu service."

He added, "The Western Cape Government is committed to delivering safe, reliable and affordable public transport. We have invested significantly in supporting the GO GEORGE bus service, which is a partnership between local, provincial and national government. We believe that mobility is critical for growing the economy, creating jobs and connecting people to opportunities."

Earlier this week, Minister Mackenzie visited George for urgent engagements with the municipality, operational teams and minibus taxi industry representatives; following the petrol bombing of a GO GEORGE bus on the same day as Mr Mbudede's murder. Along with SAPS and other enforcement agencies, we are all working hard to roll out the long-awaited bus service in Thembalethu. Since the inception of the project almost ten years ago, there have been many obstacles and delays. It was, however, agreed that there should be no further delays in connecting Thembalethu to the GO GEORGE mobility network.

Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety Reagen Allen emphasised, "This collaboration between SAPS and other stakeholders is encouraging, especially seeing as Thembalethu is one of our Safety Plan Priority Areas. We now call on the National Prosecuting Authority to prosecute this case effectively. I have already prepared to initiate a watching brief on the case. This should send a strong message to those who attempt to hold communities, commuters and government hostage through violence and extortion, that justice will be pursued."

Listen: Arrests in George taxi murder show impact of safety collaboration

Media Enquiries: 

Rebecca Campbell

Spokesperson for Minister Ricardo Mackenzie

076 783 2583

Marcellino Martin

Spokesperson for Minister Reagen Allen

021 483 0103 (o)

082 721 3362 (m)